When I was in the hospital for a month long stay during one of my pregnancies, I read The Complete Tightwad Gazette from cover to cover.
Have you ever seen how thick that thing is? Hey, I didn't have much else to do and it turned out to be the best use of a month in bed that I have ever spent.
The author, Amy Dacyzn, does some cost comparisons for several items that come prepackaged at the grocery store.
Bisquick, cake mixes, muffin mixes, pancake mixes, etc.
She discovered, almost without fail - and that only happened with extremely marked down mixes - that it was always cheaper to make it from scratch.
If you think about it, it really makes sense. When you are buying those shiny, colorful envelopes of muffin mix, you are paying for the photograph of the muffins, the packaging, and the advertising, right along with all the preservatives that have to be added to keep those so called "blueberries" from spoiling.
I keep flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in my pantry so there is really no reason for me to buy the mixes unless they are marked as a clearance item.
Using a mix may save a few minutes of prep time, probably less than 5, but it can add up to big bucks if mixes are all that are in a pantry.
It may not seem like a big deal to pay 50 cents or a dollar extra for a mix, but if you are feeding a large family three meals a day every day it really makes a difference.
Let's say I use two packages of muffin mix every day for breakfast instead of making the *muffins from scratch. I would estimate that extra cost to be only a dollar. In one year's time, that dollar becomes $365 that could have been saved.
If I serve Lunchables for lunch and use Hamburger Helper for dinner, I can multiply that figure (at least) by three, and that is over $1000 that could have been saved!
Make it from scratch and save that money! (See our recipe for Funfetti Cake from scratch.)
Be sure to check out Biblical Womanhood for more frugal tips.
*Make Your Own Muffins
1 Cup flour
1 Cup oats
1/4 Cup oil, peanut butter, or butter
1 Cup milk or juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
Up to 1 1/2 Cups of fruit (blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, applesauce, banana, etc)
Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.